It’s Monday night and I’m still sniffing — cried a lot after huge fight with the internet, my (forner) webinar service and an embarrassingly public admission of “I’m just not really that together after all.” Darn it.

Sometimes, when I least expect it, I fall apart. It’s awful to let people see my soft underbelly (although frankly as I get older, it’s been getting softer anyway!). But you know what I mean — there’s a part of me that wants to have all the right answers, lots of confidence and boundless energy.

And then it gives out. Big time. Like tonight. When everything falls apart and I know it’s all a huge fantasy. I am humiliated in front of the very people I care about most … the ADDivas of this world. I cried. In frustration. And anger. And hopelessness. Things look bleak.

But actually, there was more to it than just a screwy webinar. Let me back up a bit. Actually, let me complain a little, OK?

It starts with GardenSpirit, my women’s retreat house in North Carolina. The house sits kitty-corner behind my house and has been the manifestation of my dream – to create a place for women to congregate, come home to their deepest, truest selves and regain a sense of connection to the world, the universe, divinity.

With Victor’s financial backing and 100% enthusiasm, we bought the property in 2006, renovated it to a quite feminine level (lots of purple) and opened for the first retreat for New Year’s 2007.

I had done a bit of research about retreats and learned that, in NC, a retreat center would be considered a “summer camp.” Ack, that sounded like a bunch of kids running around, making lots of noise. Not my intention — I wanted a spiritual renewal retreat for adults women. But if the neighbors heard that I was running a “summer camp” there, they’d probably kill me…or get me shut down.

Well, last year, through a simple fluke, I got shut down anyway, The county planning department and then the health department said “cease and desist.” So I haven’t had any retreats there in more than a year. I have had people stay who didn’t pay anything (which you can do with a private home — why not?) and I have meetings for our adult support group – also without paying. But no retreats for couples or women or ADDivas.

Before we could start jumping through all those governmental hoops, we needed to buy the vacant lot that adjoined GardenSpirit. Part of the driveway was actually on THAT property. So we negotiated a fair price and bought the property in October of last year.

Then it was time to plow through the reams of rules and regulations that came along with becoming an official retreat center. Fortunately, my house is in a planning zone that allows for a retreat house/conference center. But that was the only good newsFor instance, the hot tub on the back deck — the absolute first thing I bought for the retreat house – is now considered a swimming pool. It has to be fenced with fencing that is at least 48 inches tall and with a five foot high locking gate that opens only to the outside. The spacing between the rails (or whatever you call those upright things) can be no more than 4 inches — the inspector actually uses a ball that is 4 inches in diameter to determine whether your fence meets the standards … or not.

Are you getting a sense of how frustrating this is for my ADD brain?????

Anyway, things in the South sometimes move at the speed of molasses. The land surveyor I hired spent five months on a 2 week job, slowing down the entire process to a crawl. Then the engineer I hired refused to call me back, even though he claimed he would call me “at 1 pm.” After 9 weeks of waiting, I fired him without even seeing him. Who knows where that guy is or what he’s doing….

I hired someone else, who actually jumped in and WORKED. But he read the rules even more strictly than I did…and planned a huge ugly circular driveway to accommodate the fire engines — which apparently do not like to make a three-point turn in the old driveway. ACK.. there goes my garden ambiance. Fortunately, the Fire Marshall disagreed and we were able to save some trees.

Now I am up in the air with the architect who wants to put a 40 foot ramp in the front of the house to accommodate a wheelchair…or to lower the entire second level. This sounds soooo expensive I may never be able to open GardenSpirit again.

Are you getting a sense of how depressing this is for my ADD brain?

Then, a home inspector-turned-energy-consultant found mold in the basement of MY house. That’s where my office is, by the way. We’ve fought this problem for years, but didn’t know how bad the problem was until he yanked the drywall off the basement walls…it’s bad.

The fix? Dig out all my plants, tear out the dirt to a depth of 10 feet (about 8 feet wide, which destroys my entire landscaped yard) and re-waterproof the exterior walls of my house.

Are you getting a sense of how expensive this is going to be?

Oh, I can’t go on like this. You don’t need to know all this stuff. You don’t need to know that the new web editor of ADDitude magazine is driving me wild by demanding that I “pitch” blog ideas to her as if I was writing for a news magazine that pays $1000 per story (ha!). Or that I forgot to book an airline ticket for my amazing and patient husband when we went to the ACO conference last weekend. Or that I confused I-90 with 190 near O’Hare Airport last night, ended up on a toll road that required exact change of 80 cents and the only change I had was three quarters. Or that I started to get online for tonight’s ADDiva coaching call and found out that my mom’s computer didn’t have an ethernet cable, so I had to run to Staples 10 minute before the webinar started???

Are you getting a sense that my life is “out of control” as they say in 12-step meetings??

I want to keep it together. I want to be a model ADDiva. But right now, it’s just not happening. Big sigh.

Maybe things will look different in the morning. But first, I have to sort out all the stuff I brought home from the conference, which is now scattered all over my dad’s bedroom floor – which he vacated so I could visit.

Whew… this sounds more like whining than answers, doesn’t it. And maybe that’s what you get after a week like this…not inspiration, but perspiration. And I AM letting you see me sweat…